Blog articles relating to the heavy construction industry

Carving the Crazy Horse Memorial

We’re thankful to be a part of the quest to carve the Crazy Horse Memorial! CBS recently wrote an article on their efforts. You can read the CBS article here – https://goo.gl/wtsv22

Featured Project – Town of Parker, CO and the Barrier Lift

Today, our featured project takes us to Parker, Colorado, a small “town” located at the southeastern most corner of the Denver Metropolitan Area. The municipality uses barricades mostly for road closures but also for the separation of debris and aggregate piles. In the past, they have used forks which “beat up the barricades.” They also tried straps with a screw-in eye bolt but the “hole would fill with dirt or ice.” More so, Keith states, “(these) methods are not as safe.” And this couldn’t be more true. Safety should always be of utmost concern, especially when moving something of this size.

As promised, their new KL9000 arrived in record time and went immediately to work. And it of course, performed just as they had expected. (In fact, this lifter was a repeat order.) Loading and unloading of the barriers went smoothly which further expedited the process. Keith also made a valid point in stating that “it can be used with minimal manpower.” Smaller municipalities obviously have smaller work forces and this is where the barrier lift can really become a life (and back) saver! Besides, wouldn’t everyone rather stay in the cab on a cold or rainy day?!

Thank you Keith Wittlieff of Parker PW for sharing your story. Welcome to the Kenco Workforce!

 

Contact/Company Name:

Keith Wittlieff    |   Town of Parker Public Works    |    Parker, CO

Featured Project Detail:

General road closure and debris separation using concrete road barriers. 

Equipment Used:

Kenco Barrier Lift: KL9K6T24V1

If you would like to be highlighted in one of our Featured Projects, please contact sm@kenco.com.

American Pride in Every Kenco Lifting Attachment

Every Kenco lifter that leaves our facility is tagged with a miniature American flag. And that’s not because we have to; it’s but because we want to. We want you to know that our lifters were born and raised right here in western Pennsylvania. From infancy to adulthood, each and every lifter had the privilege of pure red, white, and blue talent impressed upon it. You see, in this day and age it is very difficult to find items that are truly “Made in the USA.”

We take great pride in our lifting attachments and our employees that help them find a new home on your jobsite. Maybe that’s why when you call us, you speak to a actual person, not some automated messaging machine! And maybe that’s why you call back it often times is the same person you spoke with years ago. Good business leads to happy employees. And that’s why we like to still talk to you and ask you how your day is going. It’s very rare you will talk to someone that is not smiling on the other end of the line.

So when you conduct business with Kenco understand that we enjoy what we do and we want you to enjoy it too. We want you to be satisfied with your purchase and our service. That means there are NO dumb questions. And if we don’t know, we often times know someone who does. Trust in us and you will not be disappointed.

Featured Project – D & D Foundations, Inc. and the Multilift

No two residential retaining wall projects are ever the same. Function, strength, and longevity will always be of utmost concern to the contractor. Revisiting the job in the near future to fix a failing wall (especially one they installed) is not a call they hope to get! However, when we talk about residential jobs there is another huge factor that comes into play – the homeowner. Certainly, no homeowner wishes to sit on the back porch drinking a cup of coffee while staring at a boring ole block wall. This wall must not only function well, it must also be aesthetically pleasing.

To solve this problem, many contractors look to limestone block. Its face gives a rough ‘n’ rugged character that seamlessly blends with the surrounding landscape. All the while these blocks provide a strong and sturdy blockade to the naturally eroding earth on the other side. They are a solution that consistently appeases both the contractor and customer.

That’s brings us to today’s featured project by D & D Foundations, Inc of Houston, Texas. The project is one similar to the above situation – 2100 pound limestone blocks and a residential retaining wall. Kenco’s fundamental contribution to this job was the Multilift, more specifically – the ML8K10T48V1. The grip range (10-48”) suited these block quite well and allowed for lifting on the wide or narrow side. For this project, the Multilift was placed from the front to back. The lifter’s capacity of 8,000 pounds exceeded what could have been expected from even the largest of the block.  

Kenco Multilift moving limestone block   Kenco Multilift moving limestone block   Kenco Multilift moving limestone block   Kenco Multilift moving limestone block

“Setup was (also) very easy,” Ruben Gonzalez stated, and he is certainly correct. All that is needed is a lift eye, a Rigmax (or similar), and a machine capable of lifting the weight. D & D had previously “tried moving the blocks with other methods with different tractors.” Although these methods were not without success, they do come at the sacrifice of time spent. And as any contractor knows – time lost means money lost. And Ruben would agree. “This Multilift has saved us time and labor expenses. We would be behind schedule without it.”

Thank you Ruben and to D & D Foundations, Inc. for becoming a member of the Kenco Workforce. We look forward to working with you in the future.

 

Contact/Company Name:

Ruben Gonzalez  |  D & D Foundations, Inc.  |  Houston, TX

Featured Project Detail:

Retaining wall system installation using limestone blocks weighing approximately 2,100 pounds

Equipment Used:

Kenco Multilift: ML8K10T48V1

 

If you would like to be highlighted in one of our Featured Projects, please contact sm@kenco.com.

Behind the Scenes Prep for ConExpo

Jess working on ConExpo exhibit

One of our warehouses has been buzzing with some unusual noises this month. Although they sound much like teacher’s nails down a chalkboard, I couldn’t help from sneaking over the other day for a “look see.” It’s not nails, rather a hot knife and the chalkboard? Well, that would be styrofoam. (Don’t worry, we haven’t cut back on manufacturing costs of our lifters!) So what has been going on here at Kenco HQ? Preparation for ConExpo 2017, of course! The sounds, smells, and sweat are all too familiar to our marketing department who heads up the design of this castle-like structure. And what better way to understand the trials and tribulations of the stage-hands than to jump right in?!

Anyone that knows me well, knows that I am not the most patient person. That being said, It took every bit of self-control I had to sit idle for instruction on how to use the hot “butter knife” for cutting foam block. (Oh, just let me try it already; I can do it!) With the lesson finally over, I tossed my gloves on and went to work with my melt-tastic, samurai sword in hand! (Watch out world; this woman has skills no one could have ever imagined!)

Maybe I was overzealous or a tad too confident in my first cut because it didn’t go as smoothly as I had planned. Styrofoam can be quite persnickety. And so I calmed my horses and decided slow and steady will win the race. As I worked ever so carefully along the edge line of each individual brick (yes, hand-melted INDIVIDUAL brick), my mind started to revert back to being a kid watching marshmallows melt over the fire. It is quite mesmerizing to say the least. Could be the childhood memories – could also be the fumes…

Either way, thirty minutes in and I have a newfound respect for all that it takes to prepare this exhibit that will be unveiled in March 2017. When you walk by it, you will probably think similar to what I had. “Just some foam blocks; nothing to be seen here.” But let me assure you, each and every block was meticulously created and painted to give you a realistic stone/brick exterior you would swear was the “real deal.”  

I hope you take a gander by our castle in the North Hall. I’ll be there basking in the glory of the mere dozen or so brick I created. Come join me!

-Jess

Con-Expo March 2017

Las Vegas | March 7-11, 2017

North Hall, Booth N11749

Top 5 Funniest Names for the Actuator

Every once in awhile, we all need a little comic relief. I’m not here to poke fun at anyone because if the tables were turned, there would be plenty of reasons to laugh at myself! However, sometimes I find it really hard to contain a chuckle when I hear the names our customers have called our actuators. If one of these happens to be yours, please feel free to claim its notoriety – you deserve it!

I think it would be best to do a simple countdown:

 

#5 The PLUNGER

I was pretty certain I moved into sales to steer clear of anything that sounded like it belonged in a toilet. I just … ugh … let’s just move on.

 

#4 THING-A-MAJIG

Now, this name doesn’t really bother me too much. Although it really is quite confusing. I’ve seen many thing-a-majigs in my life and none of them look like this. They are usually under the hood of my car making some odd clicking or whistling noise and spewing mass amounts of oil.

 

#3 RATCHET

You probably already know this as a “tie down”. Makes perfect sense to me. However, I know this as the “knuckle blaster”. It somehow tightens extremely easy but then it becomes the devil in disguise. I push and pull and grip and pinch but it stays jammed. I’ll walk away in anger to come back and on the first try it flies open and blasts my knuckles! (Ouch!)

 

#2 ARTICULATOR

This just sounds downright fancy! Sorry but this five dollar word would best be used elsewhere.

 

#1 AGITATOR

Listen, I like laundry like the rest of the world… Wait – no one likes laundry! In fact, even the term AGITATES me!

 

You can call it whatever you want and sometimes you may try your best to stump us. But the cold hard truth is that we’ve heard them all … or have we?

 

It’s Our Privilege – The Multilift and the WWII Memorial

The town of Worcester Massachusetts made many sacrifices during World War 2, as did many others who were alive during this time. Worcester, lovingly referred to as the “Heart of the Commonwealth” sent 24,000 soldiers to the war; many of whom never made it back home. The members of the community that did not leave for war contributed in their own way with 80 percent working in war-related jobs such as preparing and delivering clothing, boots, and artillery. The war affected so many that in 2008, 70 years after the end of the war, the town constructed a WWII monument in honor of all its veterans and war supporters.

Now in 2016, nearly 6 years later, this monument is seeing a major face-lift thanks to the major’s request for its enhancement in a BIG way. Originally, 6 very large and heavy granite piers surrounded a brick patio of sorts. Moving these piers was no easy task. Each required removal and placement to the side at the start of the project. This is where the Kenco Multilift came into play. Its scissor-style grip allowed for the workers to carefully clamp onto each piece. The pads gripped snugly without marring the surface which was of great importance. Each pier was then lifted safely out of the way.

Also needing removal were the granite steps that surrounded the perimeter of the original structure. The versatility of the American-made Multilift proved its value yet again. With a minor adjustment of the legs on either side of the lifter, the grip range was now suitable for the width of these steps. Each step was picked up using only one machine operator and a worker to help guide them.

As quickly as the monument was de-constructed, it was re-constructed. However, this time it was given some very unique and inspiring additions. For instance, 60 water jets were centrally installed. 2 large jets represented the Atlantic and Pacific, 6 medium jets stood for the six military branches, and the remainder were devoted to Worcester residents who lost their life in the war. Each pier was stamped with the seal of each of the military branches. There was also installation of additional monuments with the names of each and every Worcester veteran’s name.

June 4th, 2016 – the dedication event is in full swing. Veterans from town find their way to this new and improved monument, constructed with love and respect for their sacrifices. The National Anthem is sung by Eric Jaeger and rings in the day’s events. A time capsule becomes a vessel of truth with letters of veterans placed in it, not to be opened and read for another 100 years. Imagine the stories! Some stand, some lean upon their canes, others sit in their wheelchairs as they cast their eyes upon this beauty of a memorial, devoted solely to them. It’s a day to never forget and projects like the never go to wayside for us. It is with great respect, admiration and pride that we continue to serve those that serve us. Thank you for choosing our Multilift to help with your project and Thank You to our veterans for your continued service.

*We realize some of the images do not include the Multilift. Although we hope to show the relevance of our equipment to any project, we felt as though the scope of the project required even more focus than our attempt at a sales pitch. (Non-Multilift) Picture credit: WorcesterMag.com 

It’s a Tough Job – Gravestones and the Monument Lift

 

Selecting a monument is a demanding process within itself, so why should setting it in place it be? Most people probably don’t think much about what happens at the cemetery after you kick the bucket. Honestly, I don’t even want to consider any of the details! (Yikes!) Once you have been laid to rest, some type of grave marker needs to be placed to designate this new “home away from home” as your final resting place. Amazingly enough, it doesn’t magically appear there like elves hiding gifts. Sorry no elves here! Pardon me. Let me get serious for a moment. It is possibly the awkwardness of this discussion that is getting to me. So respectfully, I will move on…

Cemetery workers have the job of preparing and maintaining the memorial grounds where our loved ones have been laid to rest. They must mark each and every site with a grave marker or monument, often times without additional help. These granite monuments are heavy and often require more strength than a single person can muster. Kenco offers a couple of solutions. One is a smaller version of our well-established barrier lifter called the Kenco Monument Lift, while the other is our scaled down Multilift.

The Monument Lift has a 1500 pound capacity and can be attached to a mini excavator, skid steer or any other machine with lifting capabilities.  The granite can be moved from the delivery location to the grave site safely, with little interruption to the surrounding landscape. A grip range of 3 to 12 inches is suitable for the majority of typical monument sizes. Non-marring elastomer pads provide a secure grip on the polished stone. In addition, a rubber pad cushions the top of the stone.

Another alternative is the Multilift, which can be attached to any of those same machines. It boasts a 3000 pound capacity, plus the legs can be manually adjusted to grab from 5 to 32 inches in width. It also has the same non-marring elastomer pads to ensure a tight grip and prevent damage to the polished surface.

Either of these lifting products will streamline the process and allow a single person to do the job without worry of damage to the granite, therefore saving the workers’ back in the process.  

 

Patching Roadways with the Kenco Slab Crab

In a perfect world a roadway would never need repair. It would withstand all elements including mother nature and the wrath of daily vehicular slaughter. However, a short drive down nearly any interstate will prove this is simply not the case. Orange cones and construction sites are a common sight and rightfully so. To put it in perspective, the Pennsylvania Turnpike feels the impact of at least 500,000 vehicles per day. That’s over 3.5 million vehicles per week! With today’s heavier freight loads and the increasing number of drivers on the road, imagine the wear and tear our roadway system sees every year.

With this type of abuse, comes the need for repairs with the safety of all travelers being the utmost concern. A very common practice to fix large cracks, holes, or structurally failing roadways is to patch them. Patching first requires the removal of the concrete surface down to the subbase. The damaged section of concrete will first be saw cut into a manageable size. Then a hammer is often used to break apart these slabs into smaller pieces. After switching out machines or attachments, a bucket removes the rubble. This process requires strenuous hours and additional time to repair the disturbed subbase misplaced by the digging action of the bucket.  

So the question is – could there be a way to keep workers safe, cut down time, and keep the subbase intact? There most certainly is! And the great news is you may already have this tool in your toolbox. What is it? The Kenco Slab Crab of course! You didn’t think it was just for bridge deck removal, did you?

When it comes to assisting in concrete removal for patching of roadways, sidewalks, or even pathways, the Kenco Slab Crab shines in its multi-purpose glory. Just like a typical attachment, it is sized specifically for your machine or quick attach system. However, what makes it entirely different is heavy duty ribbing making it far more rugged than any conventional bucket. The elongated base frame reduces the digging effect on the subbase and allows for the slab to be loaded in a single horizontal movement. The sides are cut deep towards the back of the throat assuring the slab’s width will be fully supported in a cantilever fashion. The bucket teeth can also be used to provide optimal force to pry the slab up and break it loose if need be. And best of all, the slabs can be loaded onto a truck for easy removal. No rubble or broken concrete to  fuss with.

Click photo to see the video of HRI removing the slabs

Click to see video of HRI removing the slabs

For more information on the Kenco Slab Crab, contact our sales department. Toll free 800-653-6069, Option 1. 

Introducing the Pipe Hook with Box Culvert Wings

Pipe Hook with culvert wings         Pipe hook with wings lifting culvert box       Pipe Hook with culvert wings

 

The Kenco Pipe Hook was originally designed specifically for the lifting, moving, and setting of concrete pipe and has since become the leader in the pipe-handling market. With such great success, comes a new “addition” that aims to add more versatility for higher productivity on the jobsite.

Currently both round and square box culverts are lifted by connecting and disconnecting a special rigging system or bridle to perform every lift and release sequence. This takes unnecessary time and in the current fast-paced construction field, time means money equating to money lost.

What if there were an easier way? What if one lift could do more than just one job? Now, there is just that. Meet the Kenco Pipe Hook with detachable Box Culvert Wings.

These box culvert wings are designed specifically for the job at hand. They are attached via a keyway system to each side of the hook’s main body. The mechanics of the lift process remain the same as for lifting RCP. The operator approaches the culvert from the side to insert the hook. The wings will help to stabilize and balance the culvert box, assuring that no tilting or twisting occurs during the lift process. Each lift happens in a single smooth motion with the set and release step occurring just as quickly. It’s a safe and efficient way to increase your productivity while saving you from purchasing multiple lifts to do each job individually.

There is no doubt that this ‘dual purpose’ Pipe Hook is going to become the next best “tool in your toolbox”. And if you already have a Pipe Hook, contact us about a weld-on kit so you too can take advantage of this new design improvement. This can be the best investment you’ve made in a long time to make the job go more smoothly.